The Happy Buttons sprung from the wilds of Southern California, from the canyon oaks and Jeffrey pines of Wrightwood to the Joshua trees of Phelan. Tarpan has risen from her ashes.

Its prehistory started when Thomas was in their mid-teens, jamming on drums with Jack on guitar, playing Ozzie-era Black Sabbath. During this period, the siblings composed a morbid ditty about a boy in denial of his lover having departed, called “Judy”. A few times during this era, their friend Meika would come over to jam and even work on some songs.

In high school, Thomas got acquainted with Daniel through a group of mutual friends, possibly over a game of Magic: The Gathering or Vampire: The Masquerade. They would nerd out about 80s music, computer games and Japanese pop culture over ICQ and exchange mp3s of then-new underground goth music. Eventually, they came up with the idea of starting a band, inspired by illicit file-sharing websites such as the original napster and the idea that they could get their music out there using the internet.

Thomas and Daniel would make a number of experimental, darkly sarcastic, and goofy demos at their respective places, recording to cassettes or early versions of Cakewalk.

Time went on and Daniel graduated high school, going off to college and ending opportunities for practicing in person. But Thomas and Daniel continued to exchange ideas over the internet and would get together occasionally as circumstances permitted.

It wouldn’t be long before life, creative differences and the ravages of geographic separation reduced The Happy Buttons to no more than an abstract idea.

The last hurrah of The Happy Buttons was when Thomas worked with Meika on new material in 2006, but this fruitful era was also short-lived and the two ended up being at least a day’s drive apart. At that point, the band officially ended.

Years later, Tarpan arose from the ashes of The Happy Buttons. Recently, Tarpan has rerecorded classic Happy Buttons tracks, bringing ideas that had only existed as demos to life, and will soon release them to the world. The final fate of The Happy Buttons is an alias used by Tarpan when reimagining old Happy Buttons material.

Thomas on synths Daniel with bass perkygoth Thomas Thomas & Dan Thomas in Graveyard Moon Jack at Microphone